The Buy button — Facebook’s next big thing?

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Facebook is testing a way for advertisers to make the direct sales pitch to people, and it could be a game-changer for advertisers and retailers. Through the Buy button, users can complete a transaction while staying in Facebook.

Marketers are already excited about the possibilities. Among the call to action buttons, the one closest to the bottom of the funnel has been Shop Now or Buy Now, prompting the user to finish a transaction on the external website. Even if someone doesn’t complete the transaction after clicking Buy, advertisers can know that the user is interested in making a purchase of that particular product, and they can target them with ads for that specific item.

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Facebook launches Save — a way to save posts to view later

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Your friend posts a link to a story in the New Yorker that’s 7 pages long, but you’re just quickly skimming Facebook at work. Your favorite band just posted their newest music video, but you’re on the train without headphones.

Now, Facebook has a way to save that content and check it out later. Through Save, users can indicate that they want to bookmark content to revisit later. It is rolling out for iOS, Android and Web users over the next few days.

Facebook software engineer Daniel Giambalvo announced Save (not a separate app, just a layer on top of the current Facebook experience) in a blog post:

Every day, people find all sorts of interesting items on Facebook that they don’t have time to explore right away. Now you can save items that you find on Facebook to check out later when you have more time. You can save items like links, places, movies, TV and music. Only you can see the items you save unless you choose to share them with friends.

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Facebook’s newest call to action test: Buy

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Facebook has been expanding its call to action options, but the one released today might be its most popular.

Facebook is testing a way users can directly buy a product without leaving Facebook, clicking a “buy” button right on the ad. This will be available on both desktop and mobile, among the advertisers in the test group.

Facebook announced this feature in a blog post:

We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure. None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.

The current test is limited to a few small and medium-sized businesses in the US. We’ll share more information as we gather feedback.

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Facebook launches Mentions: a new app for public figures

introducingmentions_2Facebook has been trying to make it easier for celebrities and other public figures to talk with fans. The company’s Creative Labs team today announced Mentions, a new app available for verified users and public figures. The app allows for more seamless communication between celebrities and Facebook fans and gives public figures a better way to see the discussion about them happening on the social networks.

Facebook introduced the new app (only available for public figures and verified pages) in a blog post:

Nearly 800 million people are connected to public figures on Facebook, and interacting with athletes, musicians, actors and other influencers is an important part of their experience. From cheering on World Cup players to checking out updates from favorite celebrities, there are more than a billion interactions between public figures and their fans on Facebook every week.

We want to make these interactions even better.

It appears that this may be the VIP app Facebook was testing last year.

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Facebook launches Ads Manager for mobile

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Now Facebook advertisers have a more reliable way to monitor ad performance on mobile devices. Facebook announced today that it is introducing Ads Manager to mobile.

Through the iOS or Android apps (or the mobile website), advertisers can use Ads Manager to:

  • Pause or resume campaigns
  • Edit budgets and schedules
  • View insights
  • Respond to alerts

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Nanigans Q2 report: Facebook ad CTR, costs growing

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Facebook will announce its official Q2 numbers on July 23, but quarterly figures from Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Nanigans show that it’s getting increasingly costly to advertise on the social network.

According to Nanigans, though ad clickthrough rates have risen 47 percent from Q1 and 146 percent year over year, both the CPM and CPC are growing as well. The CPM of Facebook ads among Nanigans clients have grown 57 percent since last quarter and 218 percent year over year.

The starkest contrast has come in the category of gaming. CTR for game ads has skyrocketed 579 percent year over year. Naturally, the costs of these ads accelerated, as well. CPM for gaming ads has grown 367 percent year over year.

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A look into Facebook’s ‘Big Like Theory’

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In the TV show “The Big Bang Theory,” the humor and fun of the show comes from the relationships between the main characters as expressed by their geekiness. Geekiness often evidenced by their special and superior understanding of complex mathematical algorithms and science problems. As viewers we don’t always understand all of it, but we get that geeky commonality is what brings this group together and makes them tick.

Facebook ticks along pretty much in the same way, using complex algorithms and science to determine the strength and quality our relationships with our friends to affect what content we see and like in our News Feed… to keep us entertained enough to come back for more and more. So now I’ve got a “Big Like Theory: I’d like to share with you that plays into that idea.

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Facebook’s App Links: Now available through PMDs

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Not long after announcing what’s going on with FbStart, Facebook offered an update on another f8 innovation: App Links. Through deeplinking technology, App Links eliminates the need for a mobile browser by connecting users straight from a Facebook ad or post into the company’s app.

Through App Links, developers have facilitated more than 1 billion actions, going from Facebook post to an app.

Today, as Facebook Software Engineer Gokhan Caglar explains, App Links is available to use in mobile app ads through Preferred Marketing Developers:

On April 30 at f8, we introduced App Links, an open, cross platform standard for linking on mobile. Since then, hundreds of apps have adopted App Links, including SpotifyMailboxQuipHuluRedfin,GoodreadsLive Nation, and Vimeo. Third party SDKs such as the Xamarin SDK and theFacebook.NET SDK have also embraced the standard. To date, developers have enabled more than a billion unique App Links on mobile.

With App Links, you can drive people into your app directly from stories on Facebook, whether they’re published from your app, from a Page, or from people copying and pasting URLs. Starting today, you’ll also be able to use App Links in mobile app ads through our Preferred Marketing Developers.

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Facebook launches multi-product ads, enhances Custom Audiences

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Facebook this week announced a new feature for advertisers seeking better direct response through the social network, and made Custom Audiences even more powerful.

Now, Facebook advertisers can showcase up to three products in one ad unit on both desktop and mobile.

Facebook blogged about this new ad offering:

Say you’re an online retailer that’s looking to reach people that browsed your site without making a purchase. Combining the multi-product ad unit with Custom Audiences from your website, you can produce a carousel of different items — like handbags, sundresses and sandals — to show in News Feed to specific audiences. Ecommerce company Nomorerack used this approach and saw its click-through-rates increase as much as 42% and its cost per acquisition decrease between 42% and 45%.

Beginning today, multi-product ads are available to advertisers around the world via the Facebook ads API. We’ll work to incorporate multi-product ads into our other ads interfaces later this year.

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Facebook rolls out Slingshot internationally

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Not long after Facebook announced that Slingshot, its new photo messaging app, was available for U.S. iOS and Android users, Facebook today told of a rollout for international users.

The Slingshot team (part of Facebook Creative Labs) blogged about the rollout:

Since we launched last week, we’ve heard from lots of people around the world who are excited to give Slingshot a try. Starting today, we’re expanding our initial launch and making Slingshot available internationally!

You can find Slingshot in app stores around the world for iPhone (iOS7) and Android (Jelly Bean and KitKat) at http://sling.me/download.

This past week we’ve seen people share such terrific shots, face mashes and drawings. We can’t wait for what happens next!

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